– Democratic gubernatorial candidate Bruce Bartlett, a former Louisville mayor who lost his bid for re-election to Republican Greg Beshear last week, said Monday he has a “good relationship” with Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes.
In a statement, Bartlett said, “As I said in my speech today, the Governor has a good relationship with Secretary of States Alison Lundersggan and is pleased to work with her to implement the Kentucky Governor’s Blueprint to Protect the Economy.”
Bartlett also said the state’s largest county is “going to be our largest single recipient of Medicaid spending under the Affordable Care Act and the Governor will continue to fight for the best possible solutions to the Kentucky budget crisis.”
“We need to protect Kentuckians from the devastating impact of the health care bill,” Bartlett wrote.
“If we don’t pass the Better Care Reconciliation Act now, we will have a $3 trillion hole in our state’s budget by 2026.”
In a separate statement, Lunderggan, who took over the office in May, said her office has worked with Bartlett to find a compromise that allows the state to meet its federal Medicaid cap of $9 billion a year.
Bartlet, who had been running in a competitive Democratic primary against Democrat Josh Hawley, had to overcome strong opposition from several outside groups, including the Kentucky Democratic Party, that opposed his bid to keep the state Medicaid program.
Bertlett and Grimes have both said they want to expand Medicaid coverage to millions of Kentuckans, though the legislation to do so has been blocked in the state Senate.
Beshear, who defeated Bartlett in a race that was a tight battle, also lost his seat in a November special election.
Grimes was sworn in as governor in March and took office two months later.
The state legislature is in session through April, and a state budget deadline is April 29.